Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Oilers’ Nugent-Hopkins (illness) likely to miss second straight game

The Oilers will likely be without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the second consecutive game on Saturday when they take on the Blues in Edmonton.

“Very doubtful,” was how Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger classified Nugent-Hopkins’ likelihood of suiting up.

The 19-year-old was slated to center Edmonton’s top line on Wednesday night against San Jose, but was a late scratch due to what’s suspected to be the flu.

His absence forced Krueger to juggle things in what ended up a 4-3 shootout loss to the Sharks.

Krueger had already moved winger Ryan Smyth to center the fourth line between Lennart Petrell and Mike Brown with Eric Belanger (groin) out.

Combined with the Nuge falling ill, Shawn Horcoff and Sam Gagner were Edmonton’s lone natural centers.

On the bright side, Belanger is expected to return to the lineup on Saturday, meaning the Oilers should have more depth down the middle.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: